Clark's Farewell To Popehat

A few years ago Ken and Patrick invited me to write at Popehat because we shared a commitment to defending free speech and other virtues of the Enlightenment. While that's still true, it's become clear that our tactics and audiences differ and it makes sense for me to excuse myself from Ken's living room and write elsewhere.

I'll be at a new group blog formed by several e-friends called Status 451.

Meredith L Patterson jokingly pitched it as "He's a conservative Catholic ancap. She's a bisexual, polyamorous Euronerd anarcho-game-theorist. They write blogs!". This is true as far as it goes, but we've also got a politics / law / chess guy, some programmers, a pretend-economist, and more.

Topics will be an eclectic mix of math, politics, architecture (maybe buildings if I'm the one writing the post, maybe software if it's Meredith), tax policy, and so forth. The guiding principles of the blog, to the extent that it has any, are that no topics are beyond the pale, and we aim to discuss things at a systems level instead of object level. E.g. more "here is a thousand year history of the culture war behind gamergate" and less "These are the five people ruining games. Hate them. Now."

A few posts I've got in mind are

  • Disaggregation is next to Godliness
  • Science doesn't work
  • Chain of custody / chain of block
  • The book "Games People Play" and the social justice movement
  • Hunter S Thompson discovers neoreaction (welcome to crab country)

I'd like to thank Patrick and Ken once again for the opportunity to write here, and I hope to see many of you over at Status 451.

Last 5 posts by Clark


  1. Irrelevant says

    Well, Clark was my favorite writer of the core set, but this breakup's both unsurprising and probably for the best. See you in hell at the new blog, Clark!

  2. bja009 says

    Excellent blog name. See you over there.

    I will miss the frothing rage under your posts here, and the occasional misattributions of your writings to Ken. Alas, no lulz in this world are permanent.

  3. Earle says

    Does this mean the funds currently invested in the research and development of a Clarkless RSS feed will be redirected?

    Best wishes Clark on your new web home. Here at the Popehat peanut gallery we can look forward to smoother panty lines as our undergarments don't get in a bunch quite as often.

  4. Anonymous says

    Haven't been here long enough to know what happened but I am sorry to hear these collaborators have an issue that has led to a parting of the ways,

    Good wishes to all.

  5. Fred says

    Now the Clarkhat moniker will just be confusing. I embrace change, but I eschew confusion. I'm torn.

    Well wishes.

  6. Ryan K says

    Well, I'd say you'll be missed, but I'll be reading the new blog and won't be missing out on anything. Keep being interesting.

  7. GeoffreyK says

    Giving in to the asshats that wanted a way to filter out the 'Clark' posts, eh? 'Tis a pity! I'll guess they'll just make a permanent switch to complaining about Marc's posts instead…

    I rarely agreed with you, but your posts challenged my worldview and I generally learned something new, so I'll miss your inclusion on this site. I'll at least throw the new site into rotation for a while and see how it goes. Best of luck!

  8. Dictatortot says

    Best of luck! People can say what they like about Clark's tenure, and often with reason … but anyone should be proud to have the fierce detractors that he amassed. If such folks hated me even half as much, It'd say nothing bad whatsoever about me, and much that's good.

  9. xtmar says

    I agree with you that you seem to have two different audiences, so it is perhaps for the best. However, I have two closing thoughts for your time at Popehat.
    1. I hope you retain the ClarkHat moniker.
    2. I look forward to your screed/rant on the Best Made Axe Co. that you promised on Twitter a while ago.

  10. Craig says

    Clark's writings here added a different element to the mix. Sometimes his articles were interesting, but lately I've been getting less and less from them. I don't think I'll follow the new blog, but I wish him and his fellow conspirators well. I'll take this as a final opportunity to thank him again for turning me on to China Miéville's The City and the City, which, despite the author's obvious Stalinism (the organization called Breach in the novel is an obvious analog for a political secret police, yet in the end it turns out they're the good guys!), is one of the most interesting SF novels I've come across in a long time.

    As I understand it, Popehat has always been intended as a group effort; nevertheless, Ken has always been the heavy hitter and the writer who really makes it worth reading.

  11. Joe says

    My politics didn't line up with Clark's very often, but I always found him a refreshing mixup in the Popehat stew. Best of luck.

  12. princessartemis says

    Good luck to you! I've appreciated your different views and way of viewing here, so I'll check out your new place.

  13. Penfold says

    I hope we are all able to govern ourselves accordingly over Clark's farewell from Popehat.

    I don't comment often (usually because by the time i get to saying something, someone has already said it and probably better than I could have), but Clark's posts added to Popehat, even if I did not necessarily agree with what he posted, so I will miss Clark and his hat.

  14. Dan Audy says

    Hopefully this move will reverse the trajectory of your posts from the last couple years so that they return to being a fascinating look at a different world view from their current trollishness.

  15. Wesley says


    As much as I've disagreed with you on a variety of social topics, I was entertained by many of the things you've written here, and I wish you the best on your future endeavors.

  16. GreenW says

    It feels like a passing of the guard, with new contributors coming in and Clark moving on. I am usually an observer, rather than a commenter, but can't let Clark go without saying a fond farewell.

    I have found your posts to be an essential seasoning to the pope-hat feast. While I rarely agree with the full extent of your posts, they almost unfailingly give me something to think about, and reveal sides of a debate I am rarely exposed to otherwise (internet being the natural echo chamber it is, unless you pay great care to diversity in your sources).

    That said, something did feel a little 'off' in the last 12 months or so, and I suspect setting out on a fresh new venture might revitalize a spark that felt missing this last year. I certainly look forward to seeing where Status 451 takes us, although whether it finds a permanent home on my already full home-page remains to be seen…

    So thanks again for the many interesting posts and topics raised, and thanks to Ken for sharing his space so freely with you. Now looking for great things from both sites in the new year!

  17. says

    Clark, I loved your early indie work, but your recent posts seemed like a cheap attempt to appeal to the masses with warmed-over NRX-derived pap, and now the new website comes across as you just plain selling out and abandoning your early fans. It's like I don't even know you any more.

  18. Matt says

    @Patrick Non-White:

    Endeavor to persevere.

    We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.


    Good luck!

  19. hamilton says

    Damn it. You could always just comment at the Hampersand, until they subpoena you. We're way more accepting of a-holes than they are here. And we love Ken and this place.

    Unless you're really Epi in disguise.

    Good luck Clark.

  20. Richard says


    I really liked your idea of using the four cardinal virtues when arguing on the Internet.

    I hope that you can stay true to that principle, even when your opponents don't.

    Best of luck at Status 451.

  21. Ryan says

    Gosh, what a development. I'm relieved to have this one last opportunity to say I'd like to invite you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

  22. Dave says

    False advertising, man!
    Everything that site serves comes with the 200 or 304 status.

    Also, doesn't default to https. (and the cert it serves if you go to it yourself is for *

  23. wumpus says

    ""He's a conservative Catholic ancap. She's a bisexual, polyamorous Euronerd anarcho-game-theorist. They write blogs!"."

    Polyamory is wrong! Make it "polyphilia" or "multiamory" already.

  24. Molly says

    Best wishes, Clark. I learned a lot from most of your contributions, even when they made me want to pitch something breakable at the wall.

  25. Ray Ovak says

    Damn, and I just installed a safe-space filter to protect me from threatening speech. Now I feel like Condi Rice, circa 1992. Must redefine my ideological enemies, again! So exasperating.

  26. ivraatiems says

    @Patrick There's ponies out there. You can't just expect us to leave. We're not protected.

    Clark, it's been… interesting. Having watched the way your posts have changed over the past few years, I'm curious to see where your new blog will take you.

  27. Jesus says

    Also, I really look forward to the "Science is broken" article. I'm in med school and the stories I could tell would leave you mildly depressed and not at all surprised. When I was in the Army I developed a hatred for all things corporate speak, and medicine is full of the corp speak garbage. "Best practices" "Evidence based" "Standard of Care" I mean for fucks sake we even have patients fill out customer satisfaction surveys after they visit the ER nowadays. I was literally required to use the phrase "I will take excellent care of you" because getting a rating of excellent was so fucking important to these assholes. "Excuse me blood-covered and violent drunk, but did you feel your care today was poor, fair, good, very good, or excellent?" Not to mention a lot of this evidence-based shit is just based on cherry picked studies funded by pharmaceutical companies to push drugs while they are still on patent. Anyway, it all sucks, so I decided to get into the system in order to prevent me and mine from getting fucked over by the system. I forgot where I was going with this.

  28. HandOfGod137 says

    How can one be a catholic ancap anyway?

    Clark is perfectly capable of holding any number of mutually contradictory and ridiculous positions simultaneously. Essentially because his intention is to encourage outrage by trolling. I used to think he genuinely was looking for debate and discussion, but then I read his piece on atheists:

    Wherein, after the application of considerable pressure, Clark finally admitted that he was basing his opinion of all those who choose not to believe in deities on a sample-size he described as follows:

    I'd estimate that it's around two dozen over the last twenty years.

    Which was the exact point I stopped regarding him as arguing in good faith. And is especially ironic given that he has subsequently berated blog commenters for their lack of scientific knowledge on Twitter.

    I don't know if the current flirtation with racism with his new besties Weev and Vox Day are part of some super-ironic attack on the "Cathedral", but I'm sure all will be made clear at his new blog. As part of some hyper-prolix 17-part epic on NRx and how to knit your own assault weapon after civilization crumbles.

  29. Owesome says

    Words cannot express how I feel about this development.

    I hope you get the audience you deserve.

  30. LJU3 says

    I will miss Clark, but I will REALLY miss people losing their minds in response to him. Best of luck to you, sir.

  31. says

    Jesus says

    December 31, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I think the real question is, what will this do to the Popehat brand?

    See Chipotle

  32. krkeegan says

    Sad to see you go. I doubt I ever agreed with anything you wrote or enjoyed any of your opinions. I did however appreciate the effort you put into it. I think you have made me more tolerant of views I disagree with.

    Good luck in your travels. I hope I stumble into your work again.

  33. Piper says

    Farewell Clark! I may not agree with your politics and political slant, but I always appreciated the articles and the humor along with them! Best of luck!


  34. eddiejc1 says

    Sorry to see you leave Clark, but I hope that you are still friends with Ken and Patrick.

  35. b says

    Awww… I've been offline during the holidays, but I spared Clark a thought the other day, thinking that it was nice to have him on this site, as one keeps an exotic creature conveniently in a terrarium for an occasional viewing

    Anyway, good luck.

    (And, honestly, please find yourself an editor, Clark!)

  36. says

    I somehow missed this post until today. Clark's probably gone on to greener pastures and generally ignored me anyway, but I'll say it regardless:

    Good luck Clark!

    I always enjoyed reading your posts in at least some way, and I always liked your avatar. Best of luck on your new site, which I'm now going to go visit.

    ETA: Also, I do hope this doesn't mean any personal relationships have changed; I hope all of the Hosts are as much friends as they've ever been (because I don't know how much friends the various Hosts have ever been).

  37. David C says

    I totally missed this at the time (probably a combination of end-of-the-year stuff going on and the site acting up – for a while I was only seeing new articles by using links from Twitter) but I'm sorry to see you go, and wish you well at your new blog site.